Chapman ML-1 CAP10 Signature Guitar

The Captain's Signature Guitar from Chapman Guitars!

Written by

Elliot Stent

The Chapman ML1 CAP-10 is the first Chapman signature guitar to hit the Chapman range. The CAP-10 is a modified version of the popular ML1, based on the Captain's White Fender Strat. 

Check out the Gator Deluxe ABS Case in our related items, it snugly fits all ML-1 Chapman guitars

We'll let the Captain tell you in his own words how this guitar came about...

"Hello All, It's the Captain here! I've been working with Rob on the Chapman range for nearly 3 years now, and we're both over the moon at the guitars we're building in Korea. We really are making professional affordable guitars that defy the price tag they come with. One day whilst noodling on an ML1 Rob suggested I make a version of the ML1 to my own spec rather than follow the usual collaborative design process. I wasn't sure that anyone would be that interested in a guitar that I designed/play, but I have had a few requests for more info on the modified Fender Strat that I use in a lot of videos, so I started thinking about how I could merge a Standard ML1 & my old Fender Strat into one guitar. The idea for the ML-1 CAP10 was born (by the way, the name CAP10 was Robs idea - I can't claim any credit for that!).

Now my Fender Strat has an unusual history - I bought it in parts from a guy who'd been messing with the Fender Custom Shop but had just never got around to finishing the project. For a start, my white Strat is actually made of mahogany - pretty unusual for a Fender, but this is what we already make the ML1 from, so I didn't need to change anything there. The neck profile on the ML1 is a little wider & flatter than my Strat, but after a few minutes on an ML1 I'm pretty used to it & I like the extra string spacing, so I didn't want to change that either. I decided to change the fretboard over to rosewood - I just like the tone & feel of rosewood, especially once its been played in a bit. So the ML-1 CAP10 has the same maple neck as the normal ML1, but with a rosewood board.

The one thing I really wanted to keep on the CAP10 was the HSH pickup selection with the 5 way blade - I just love the fatter neck sound of a humbucker. My Fender Strat has proper USA Seymour Duncans in it, and we toyed with the idea of putting either unbranded, or the cheaper Duncan Designed pickups in it (as you can see if you look closely at the picture above), but we finally decided that we should just load it with the exact same pickups that I have on my Strat. So, the CAP10 will now come with a USA set of Seymour Duncans - to be precise, a Jazz in the neck, an SSL1 in the middle & a JB at the bridge. The wiring will also coil tap the humbuckers in position 2 & 4, so it'll work exactly like my Strat does.

And lastly, we're down to the colour. Some of my older customers will remember that my Strat was originally green with a pearly scratchplate (Like Jeff Becks Strat) - it got pretty beaten up when I was gigging a lot. I didn't really like the way it was beaten up - it was more damage than nice ageing, so I decided to have the guitar refinished. I love the combination of an off white body with a tortoiseshell pick guard, so I got it re-sprayed & found this amazing Italian company making these really thick old fashioned fake tortoiseshell guards. I put it all together & I loved it. I've had the guitar for over 20 years now & its definately the one I'd run back into a burning house for. The guys in Korea sent me a bunch of different tortoiseshell pick guards & the one I chose had the closest swirl & colour to the one on my Strat (in fact, I think I like the scratch plate on the CAP10 even better than the one on my Strat now!). They also picked the perfect shade of white too! I hope you like the look of the CAP10 as much as I do!

The CAP10 may just be a one off run, or it may appear in the Chapman range more often if its popular. They come with the deluxe Chapman gig bag included in the price. I'll certainly post some more pictures of the next prototype I get - hopefully it won't need any changes.

Thats it for now - Captain Out."

CAP10 Official Specifications

  • Mahogany Body
  • Maple Neck with Rosewood board
  • 25.5" Scale Length
  • 13 3/4" Radius
  • HSH Seymour Duncan USA Pickups - Jazz, SSL1 & JB.
  • Wilkinson WVPCR Trem
  • Only available in white (right handed only)
  • Includes Deluxe Gig Bag
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